Problems With Conservatorships
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A conservator is a person who makes financial and health decisions for a person who is incapacitated. A conservator is appointed by the court. Conservatorship is a very responsible position. It is tiring and time consuming. There are several formalities that have to be fulfilled as a conservator. You have to maintain accounts for the conservatee, and also submit them to the court. There is tremendous amount of paperwork involved because of this. Filing paperwork in court is a tedious task and it has to be done on a bi-weekly or a monthly basis. All records are seen by the court.
A conservator’s job is supervised by the court. Also the documents are subject to the supervision of the judge. They are public records and it can get trying for a person who is not prepared for such responsibilities. The conservator’s job is personally handled by the court so that people do not mishandle such responsibilities. That is why courts also require the conservators to ask for permission before they make any major decisions on the conservatee’s behalf.
Overtime if there is something crucial or has to be done immediately; it becomes a trying task for the conservator. For example, if a conservator has to sell some real estate on the conservatee’s behalf or make decisions about life support, it becomes a trying task. Even though they have been legally appointed as the health care taker, they cannot take such decisions without the prior approval of the court.
There is a chance that a conservator could mismanage the power and funds of the conservatee because they are incapacitate. To prevent that, the judicial system is stringent and strict with the rules. There is a chance that the conservatee gets mistreated. To avoid such situations, the court lays down clear rules and responsibilities for the conservatorship.
The first preference for the role of a conservator is always given to a close family member like a spouse or an adult child. Being a conservator is a decision made out of choice for a person. It is not something that is forced upon a family member. In case family members back out, the court will pass on the decision to professional conservators.
The court also requires that a financial conservator should post a bond or an insurance policy in effect to the conservatorship so that the funds are not mishandled. The premiums of the insurance policy are paid from the conservatee’s assets. If a trusted family member takes up the role of a conservator, then such unnecessary expenses can be avoided.
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Nolo: Conservatorships and Adult Guardianships